(Adds Terminix a unit of ServiceMaster, background)
WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - Pest control company Terminix International Co LP and its U.S. Virgin Islands operation were charged on Tuesday with illegally applying a restricted-use pesticide in multiple residences in the Virgin Islands, the U.S. Justice Department said.
In a plea agreement, Terminix, a unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, has agreed to pay a total of $10 million in criminal fines, community service and restitution payments for illegally applying pesticides containing methyl bromide, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Agency banned indoor use of methyl bromide products in 1984. Acute exposure to methyl bromide can cause serious damage to the central nervous system and respiratory system, the Justice Department said.
Last year, a family of four from Delaware fell seriously ill after the unit below them in a condominium resort complex in St. John was fumigated with a pesticide containing methyl bromide, the department said.
Terminix did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Doina Chiacu)